PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The wife of the Lehigh County man who ran away to Mexico with his teenage daughter’s best friend spoke out about lies and betrayal on “Dr. Phil.”
Police say Kevin Esterly of Lowhill Township had a “secretive” relationship with 16-year-old Amy Yu.
She was found safe with the father of four in Mexico back in March after a nearly two-week search.
His wife Stacey tells Dr. Phil they considered Yu to be a fifth daughter.
“Do you believe that their relationship is sexual?” Dr. Phil asks.
“In my heart, I don’t want to believe they were sexual and I’m hoping that this was just an infatuation with him trying to help her as a father figure and he got sucked into something,” Stacey told Dr. Phil of her husband’s relationship with Yu.
Esterly was arrested and is facing trial on a long list of charges.
Yu’s mother is suing Esterly and the school, claiming she suffered financial, psychological and emotional harm.
Mui Luu’s federal lawsuit, filed last week, seeks unspecified punitive damages. It alleges Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School in Bethlehem violated Luu’s constitutional rights to her daughter’s safety by allowing Esterly to be listed as Yu’s stepfather on an emergency form.
The suit also alleges Esterly interfered with the custody of her daughter and caused her psychological and reputational damage.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)